Uzbekistan Airways, the flag carrier of Uzbekistan, has unveiled a new model regarding the operation of its new low-cost division- Uzbekistan Express to accommodate leisure and VFR passengers.
Uzbekistan head of state measures to transform and assist civil aviation enterprises, Uzbekistan Express, will reconfigure Airbus A320-200 aircraft, having a current mainline layout of 12 business and 138 economy seats into a total seating capacity of 174 (economy class) to reduce the cost of tickets. On August 30, Uzbekistan Airways commenced the first hybrid air transportation flight on the Tashkent-Moscow route with A320 aircraft, arranged in ‘Full economy.’ Together with the Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations, 22 immigrant passengers were provided one-way tickets to Moscow on the maiden flight of the Uzbekistan Express. The state-owned carrier Uzbekistan Airways has published flight ticket prices for its new Uzbekistan Express air transportation model.
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The switching of Uzbekistan Airways to a hybrid model will reduce the air tariff by 20% as the route network covers Russia’s important cities and Kazakhstan. Within the framework of the new format of air service, Uzbekistan Express will serve the intrarepublican and inter-regional flights. The Uzbekistan Express flights have their eyes set on the following cities:
- Mineral Nye Vody
With Uzbekistan Express, the carrier has created a comfortable situation for the passengers as it provides food, free baggage allowance, and an option of returning an air ticket before and after the flight as contrasted with classic budget carriers. The low-cost carrier brand will allow one hand-carry allowance of 5 kgs not exceeding 115 cm by the sum of three dimensions.
The director of Marketing and Sales, Shukhrat Yadgarov, has stated the reason behind the reequipping of aircraft, saying the aircraft’s carrying capacity will remain the same. Still, the number of passenger seats has increased while also availing the check-in baggage allowance weight of 15 kgs.
The new flights of Uzbekistan airways under Uzbekistan Express brands have their own food rules-hot meals onboard the flights exceeding two hours duration and only water for flights having the time duration up to two hours.
The airline is set to commence three weekly flights from Taskent where the looping is going on in Moscow- from Moscow; the aircraft will serve Bukhara, Urgench, Fergana region and be back to the base airport. This planning is done for September.
As of Yesterday, August 30, the press service of Uzbekistan Airways has set the following ticket prices:
- Urgench, Namangan, Bukhara, Fergan, and Kash -Moscow= from 1.49 million sums, two-way= from 2.8 million sums
- Tashkent-Krasnodar-from 1.7 million sums, two-way= from 3.16 million sums
- Tashkent-Mineral Nye Vody route- from 1.55 million sums, two-way= from 3 million sums
- Tashkent-Rostov-on-Don route = from 1.52 million sums, two-way=from 2.9 million sums
The hybrid air transportation business model
The hybrid air transportation business model allows the customers to fly on classic aircraft with both business and economy class, combined with destinations that deploy modified aircraft in an all-economy class. The modified aircraft will fly to the destination where there is less demand for business class services. The increment of refurbished aircraft capacity will help the carrier cut tariff by 20% in line with where these converted airplanes will operate.
Uzbekistan Express is the third budget carrier of Central Asia. The other two budget airlines are Kyrgyzstan’s Manas and Kazakhstan’s FlyArystan. In due course of time, the new brand of Uzbekistan Airways plans to increase its fleet with two more A320s.
Uzbekistan Airways is planned to receive three Airbus A321 NEO LR airliners on a lease while also increasing the domestic flight numbers from the current 17 to 49 weekly flights in order to develop long-range routes.
According to the previous reports, Uzbekistan Airways had planned to make a transition into hybrid service by June 2021, under which both principles of Full-service network carrier and the low-cost carrier would be carried out on the part of flights. Meanwhile, the announcement was also made for making a separate budget airline, which was planned to be revealed as a part of Uzbekistan Airways by the first month of next year, 2022.
Remodeling the state-owned carrier as a hybrid operation with a budget airline brand will entice the domestic travel demand and stimulate the Central Asian states to have effective competition with rival airlines. The eventual goal is to sell a 51% share in the budget airline to a strategic investor.